Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What RSS Feeds Can Do For You, part 1

A recent study by Yahoo found that only 12% of internet users are even aware of RSS, and only 4% of all users have knowingly used it to subscribe to news, blogs, or other frequently updated web pages. But the study also found that an additional 27% of all users actually use RSS on personalized start pages like MyYahoo or MyFindLaw without realizing that RSS is the underlying technology that makes it possible for them to personalize what they read.*

RSS feeds go by many names—channels, news feeds, site feeds, XML feeds, syndication feeds, and more. It doesn't matter what they are called or why they go by so many different names. You don't even have to know how they work to use them. You just have to know what information is available and how you can get it to come to you.

Tomorrow we will tell you how you can subscribe to feeds. In the following days we will tell you about some of the types of information that is available using RSS, with a special emphasis on what it can do for lawyers and other legal researchers. If you want to know more in the meantime, see What Is a Site or RSS Feed?

Chris Sherman, Study: RSS Still Not Widely Adopted, SearchDay, the daily newsletter of Search Engine Watch (October 12, 2005).

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